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Pope Francis calls 'courtesy' secret of making love last

Pope speaks to over 20,000 engaged couples on Valentine's Day

14 February, 16:43
Pope Francis calls 'courtesy' secret of making love last (See related).

(ANSA) - Vatican City, February 14 - Pope Francis on Friday told more than 20,000 engaged couples gathered in St. Peter's square for Valentine's Day that marriage should be built on a solid relationship, not on the sands of passing sentiments.

The pope explained that marriage should not be founded "on the sand of sentiments that come and go, but on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God".

If love is taken to be "only a feeling, a psycho-physical state than one can not build something solid on it," the pope said. "But if instead love is a relationship, then a reality can grow, and we can even say as an examples, that one builds like a house. And the house is built together, not alone!" Pope Francis also drew laughs quipping that there are no perfect husbands or wives, and still less perfect mothers-in-law.

"We all know the perfect family does not exist, not a perfect father nor a perfect mother," the pontiff said, before pausing and saying with a smile: "Let's not talk about the perfect mother-in-law!".

The square erupted in laughter.

Pope Francis also called on the engaged couples to show each other courtesy.

"True love is not imposed with hardness and aggression," said Francis.

"Courtesy preserves love".

"Today in our families, in our world - often violent and arrogant - there is a need for much more courtesy. And this can begin at home," the pope said, reminding the fiancees to always use the three basic expressions 'please', 'thank you' and 'I'm sorry'.

The pope called gratitude "a flower that grows on noble ground: the nobility of the soul is necessary for the growth of this flower". Admitting that fights are inevitable in marriage, and that "a few plates could fly" during arguments, Pope Francis said In a Tweet on the social network Twitter, the pope called on young couples to marry. "Young people, don't be afraid to get married. United in a faithful and fruitful marriage, you will be happy," Pope Francis wrote.

"If you end the day without making peace, what you have inside the day after is cold, hard and it is more difficult to make peace. If we learn to say 'I'm sorry' and to forgive each other, a marriage will endure and go forward," the pope said.